Having worked with Bermuda’s first-ever female Commissioner of Corrections, the man she replaces said he was more than pleased with the appointment of Keeva Joell-Benjamin.

When contacted by Bermuda Real, former Commissioner, Lieutenant Colonel Edward Lamb said: “I have every confidence that, with the right support – which all leaders need – she will do exceedingly well as Commissioner of Corrections.

“I am extremely proud that she is the first woman to assume the role and her appointment to the top post in Corrections is a testament to her stellar career,” he added.

The 30-year veteran of the island’s prison service was officially appointed on January 17, after she held the position in an acting capacity since 2018.

Lieutenant Colonel Lamb was seconded to the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee.

Asked for his opinon on why it has taken four years to appoint his successor, he said: “I have no comment about her acting for 4 years other than to mention that there is a process involved in these things and sometimes factors beyond our control have an impact on filling posts.”

While making the announcement earlier this week, Derrick Binns, the Head of the Public Service, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Ms Joell-Benjamin to this important and critical senior post.

“Keeva brings a wealth of operational and strategic knowledge to the post, having worked in the service for three decades.“Her skills will be an invaluable asset to the Government, and I want to take this opportunity to congratulate her and wish her well in the new role.”

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of National Security noted that Ms Joell-Benjamin joined the service in 1991 as a basic officer and has since worked in the majority of the island’s correctional facilities.

“Her last position was Assistant Commissioner (Administration) with responsibility for policies, IT, works and accounts, and she has served as acting Commissioner of Corrections for the last four years.

“Ms Joell-Benjamin is responsible for the Department of Corrections’ three housing facilities – this entails administering sentences imposed by the courts under conditions of safe custody, and providing rehabilitation to inmates so that their risk of reoffending is lowered,” she added.

Ms Joell-Benjamin now heads up the leadership, direction and overall management and administration of the Department of Corrections.

She will also “work to ensure public safety and work under the general policy direction of the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of National Security”.

“Ms Joell-Benjamin is a member of the Association of Caribbean Heads of Corrections and Prison Services and has served as the organisation’s secretary, and is a member of the International Corrections and Prisons Association,” the spokeswoman added.

“Ms Joell-Benjamin strongly believes in the department’s role to empower inmates to be responsible and productive citizens and also endeavours to demonstrate the department’s core values daily.”

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